The shock journey got here after Yoon attended a NATO summit in Lithuania and visited Poland this week, the place he expressed solidarity with Ukraine in opposition to its struggle with Russia.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has made a shock go to to Ukraine, providing an obvious present of assist for the nation in its struggle in opposition to Russia.
Yoon’s workplace stated on Saturday that he travelled to Ukraine together with his spouse, Kim Keon-hee, following journeys to Lithuania for a NATO summit and to Poland. It’s his first go to since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 17 months in the past.
Yoon toured Bucha and Irpin, two small cities close to Kyiv the place our bodies of civilians have been discovered within the streets and mass graves after Russian troops retreated from the capital area final yr. He laid flowers at a monument to the nation’s struggle lifeless.
The South Korean chief was scheduled to carry talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later within the day, Yoon’s senior adviser for press affairs, Kim Eun-hye, stated in an announcement.
“The president first toured the Bucha metropolis bloodbath website close to the capital Kyiv and town of Irpin, the place missile assaults have been focused on civilian residential areas,” Yoon’s workplace stated.
“President Yoon will go to a memorial for the struggle lifeless to put a wreath, and maintain a summit assembly with President Zelenskyy,” it added in an announcement.
A United States ally and rising arms exporter, South Korea has confronted renewed strain to offer weapons to Ukraine, which Yoon’s administration has resisted in favour of humanitarian and monetary support, cautious of Russia’s affect over North Korea.
Yoon stated this week that his administration was getting ready to ship de-mining tools and ambulances, following a request from Ukraine, and can be part of NATO’s belief fund for Ukraine.
Though Yoon’s go to was not fully sudden, it’s “very important” on condition that few different Asian leaders have visited Ukraine, stated Ramon Pacheco Pardo, the Korea Chair on the Brussels Faculty of Governance.
Whether or not Yoon’s go to indicators a shift in coverage in direction of offering extra assist for Ukraine stays to be seen, however the journey suggests a stamp of approval from Kyiv for the help that Seoul has despatched to date, he stated.
“If he’s going it’s as a result of Zelenskyy allowed him to go, as a result of he feels Korea is doing sufficient to warrant it,” Pacheco Pardo stated, including that it additionally instructed South Korea could also be doing extra to assist Ukraine behind the scenes.
‘Problem to freedom’
Zelenskyy requested Yoon to boost military support after they first met in Could. South Korea’s defence ministry has stated it was discussing exporting ammunition to the US.
Nevertheless, in Could South Korea dismissed a US media report that its artillery rounds have been heading to Ukraine by way of the US, saying its place on not offering deadly support to Kyiv was unchanged.
“We view Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a problem to the worldwide group’s freedom, human rights and the rule of regulation,” Yoon stated upon assembly Polish President Andrzej Duda on Thursday, including that South Korea might be a great companion in rebuilding Ukraine.
South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport stated on Friday it deliberate to assist the reconstruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure, akin to transportation, power and trade.
South Korean firms and corporations in Ukraine and different nations signed agreements on Friday to cooperate within the reconstruction of Ukraine, the ministry stated in an announcement.